July 25th, 2014
11:44 AM ET
8 years ago

Senior Obama adviser on impeachment: 'I would not discount that possibility'

Washington (CNN) – Dan Pfeiffer, a longtime aide and senior adviser to President Barack Obama, told reporters Friday that recent talk of impeaching the President should not be considered a long shot.

"I would not discount that possibility," Pfeiffer said, pointing out that a CNN/ORC International poll released Friday indicated that a third of Americans think Obama should be impeached.

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Pfeiffer, who spoke to reporters at The Monitor Breakfast, pointed at recent attempts by House Republicans to sue the President as evidence that they would consider impeachment in the future.

"Speaker Boehner, by going down the path of this lawsuit, has opened the door to Republicans possibly considering impeachment at some point in the future," Pfeiffer said. "I think that if the President enacted immigration reform that would certainly up the likelihood that they would contemplate impeachment."

Although one-third of Americans endorsed impeaching Obama, according to the CNN poll, a sizable 65% said they wouldn't take that step. There were also, expectedly, partisan divisions on the question with 57% of Republicans but only 35% of independents and 13% of Democrats backing a move to impeach Obama.

Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, earlier this month called for Obama to be impeached over the growing number of undocumented children from Central American coming across the southern border.

In an opinion editorial for the conservative website Brietbart, Palin wrote that "(Obama's) unsecured border crisis is the last straw that makes the battered wife say, 'no mas.'"

"It's time to impeach; and on behalf of American workers and legal immigrants of all backgrounds, we should vehemently oppose any politician on the left or right who would hesitate in voting for articles of impeachment," she continued.

Talk of Obama's impeachment has long been a hallmark of the far right, but has experienced a recent uptick of late.

After President Bill Clinton in 1998 became only the second president to be impeached, his public approval hit 73%, the highest rating of his administration, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll.

Pfeiffer, however, rejected the idea that impeachment would be a good thing for Obama and his lagging poll numbers.

"We take it very seriously and I don't think it would be a good thing," he said. "But I think it would be foolish to discount the possibility that Republicans would at least consider going down that path."

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    " Georgia is 30 % African American and 12% Latino."

    Indeed. You're just making my case for me. A significant part of that is the immigration figures I cited and those figures represent the results of that immigration growth. You think that's got the white conservative GOP/Teatroll-type folks in GA a wee bit angry and concerned about the "purpling" of GA? I sure do...and it doesn't matter whether or not they want to admit it...their behavior speaks for them. They grew up in a GA where there weren't so many of "them" around and those that were around "knew their place" and didn't have the ability to swing elections. Not so much anymore...and boy is that a tough pill for a lot of those people to swallow.

    July 25, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. smith

    @Longtimer-That nut in AZ never said that his motive was based on anything a GOP politcian said. Same with Waco and the OK city bombing..smh

    July 25, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    Does anyone here actually try to learn anything from what their opposite numbers say? Even the people who profess to be independent in here have shut their ears and eyes to unpleasant facts. I have read wild conspiracy theories ( without a shred of real proof) being presented as self-evident truths by people who have closed their minds to any statements that don't validate what they already believe. Its really pretty sad, and I don't have the energy or the inclination to bother with people who are so filled with hatred and contempt that they won't listen. No wonder people are so turned off by politics, because its not about solving problems, its about ramming an ideology down people's throats and telling them that they have no capacity to exercise their free will. I see Liberals, Conservatives, and Libertarians/Independents doing it all the time on here, and its depressing. Have all of you lost the capacity to listen and respond with respect, or has the definition changed to one of abuse?

    July 25, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Tommy G
    Oh come on people, nobody, and I mean NOBODY, is seriously talking about impeaching Obama.

    This is just another left wing ploy to gin up the base for the coming election. This is all you will coming out of Obama, the Democrats, and their lackeys in the MSM, bogus "issues" and ruses to get people to the polls so they don't get massacred like they did in 2010.

    Oh come on Tommy... At least pretend to pat attention...

    Familiar pattern...
    The right accuses-
    The left denies-
    CNN takes a poll
    The right accuses the left of bringing it up....

    July 25, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. Dead Bear

    I wouldn't put anything past this collection of useless idiots that call themselves Republican members of Congress. They seem hell bent on pulling a Gingrich and flushing any possibility of making gains in their respective chambers much less doing anything to help the country. I'm sure they believe what they are doing is righteous and representative of the will of the people, but the polls suggest otherwise. In all my years I have never seen such delusion as that of Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, John Boehner. and the host of other right wing extremists who think a majority of Americans believe the way they do thus validating their insane actions. But this is what happens when the people on the fringes of each party are the only ones voting.

    July 25, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. mr. obvious

    Smith, that assumption comes from the gop using him to rally their pro guns crowd? Then the media started to listen to him, and uh oh, more politically incorrect stuff flew out, but I have not heard that either.

    July 25, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    Obama is breaking every immigration law we have in this country. He needs to be held accountable for that.

    July 25, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "Oh come on people, nobody, and I mean NOBODY, is seriously talking about impeaching Obama."

    Circular. Nobody is seriously talking about it because talking about it is simply not even remotely serious in any way, shape or form. They sure are talking about it though...and they sure are meaning the words they say...and they're definitely willing to go through with it if their trial balloon blather about it doesn't get summarily shot down.

    July 25, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. E


    Nobody said that they demanded war. But Bush used the same intelligence. Clinton ssid he would anything that needed to be done. Then his time was up. He didn't want to go to war but that's the direction he was leaning. Because he believed the samethings.

    You have to be kidding to say he didn't ssy anything about getting rid of Saddam by any means. Just look it up.

    Like I said it's both sides fault.

    Btw, qhat did Clinton leave in place for stopping the coming 911 attack tjat he said he warned Bush about??

    According to the 911 commission report, he didn't have anything set up to counter the coming attack. All he could say was I told him.

    If you blame the repubs you have to blame the dems also.

    July 25, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. smith

    @Silence- Those two killers were kicked off the Bundy ranch by the very people you say advocate violence. G. Zimmerman was a registered Democrat does he represent all Dems?

    July 25, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    @annonimous, The Democrats has transitioned from "kooky" to "dangerously tyrannical".
    --rethuglucans broke this nation to ground level with Two Wars lies, trickle down crab, Haliburton loot, no health insurance bribe, NRA garbage.

    July 25, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. Mell

    Yeah republicans do it so it will trigger a Revolution and we will hang all the GOP and their Rich friends that exploits the poor and the middle-class.

    Be my guest.

    July 25, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. Dallas

    Impeached for what? For doing his job? It's Congress who should be impeached and voted out in November for betraying the trust of the American people and for their inactivity. If I did as little at my job as Congress does at theirs, I'd be fired on the spot. It's time we fired these do nothing's!

    July 25, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I dunno. I don't think that's how Obama works. He will do what he can because he can because he believes it's the right thing to do and the Teatroll howling be d-mned. Will he attempt some sort of overhaul? No. Might he issue a few more executive orders about how to prioritize who to deport and how to enforce laws like the 2008 law signed by Dubya that sets forth how these unaccompanied children are to be treated and given due process?"

    Yes. I perhaps allowed my frustration to show through in my comment. I weary of the constant strain he is under of trying to do what is necessary to keep this country afloat; and think of all that could be accomplished - all the while knowing full well that reality suggests otherwise.

    I also awoke to a thunderous and rainy day, which may account for my weariness. 😉

    July 25, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC


    @Longtimer-That nut in AZ never said that his motive was based on anything a GOP politcian said. Same with Waco and the OK city bombing..smh
    You asked for politicians making remarks, not the results. Palin's remarked that conservatives "should take aim" at these Democrats. If it wasn't such a problem, then why did she eventually take it down?

    You've ignored Sharrin Angle's "2nd Amendment Solutions: at least twice now, smith. Shake your head all you want. Your condescension is noted. Everyone knows that you're not a moderate, not a Republican, and most definitely not a Democrat. You claim to be an "independent." An independent what? The only spots left open on the political map are extremist and radical. Independents come in two flavors, moderate and extreme. Moderates tend to be the silent majority who don't always vote, and would not be posting here. That leaves only one slot open for you, smith.

    July 25, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. Scott

    Marie MD
    @it must be regurgitated from faux news, are you kidding me?
    Obama lied? Can you give us an example of what harm his lies have caused to Americans? Where's the fraud?
    You spew a lot of nonsense without ever being able to back anything.
    I would like to know what you think of the WMDs lies that cheney and his puppet #43 told not just the US but the world to go to war in Iraq? Liberators? Baloney. Couple of days? Double baloney.
    These two warmongers helped destabilize the Middle East, and caused and Re still causing thousands of deaths every day. This includes over 5,000 Americans and don't get me started on how they are treating veterans sith PTSD and lost limbs and their families.
    They might not go to jail here on Earth but Hades will be waiting for them. They will be reunited with sadam Hussein and bin laden. Two men who disliked each other and still stayed away from all out wars.
    Obama will be down there also. HIs Lie? Obama Care will be cheaper. Fact cost is going up constantly. OBama is a lie cheat and traitor to this country. Right up their with HItler and Stalin.

    July 25, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. Tony D

    Geez... the looney left and their lackeys in the media will concoct ANYTHING to get Obama's numerous failures and disasters off the front pages, nightly news and the Ticker. This is just one more attempt at it. Surely there are some more made up wars on you all can bang a drum on? Or are all those getting as old and tired and the rest of your excuses and rhetoric? When all you got is failure and lies, this is what you're left with I guess.

    July 25, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  18. just wondering

    So what the liberals and Democrats support Obama's impeachment if it was proven that the IRS targeting of the TEA Party and conservatives was originated from and being run out of the White House?


    July 25, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. Fair is Fair


    @annonimous, The Democrats has transitioned from "kooky" to "dangerously tyrannical".
    –rethuglucans broke this nation to ground level with Two Wars lies, trickle down crab, Haliburton loot, no health insurance bribe, NRA garbage.
    gurgyl is going under "anonymous" now.

    July 25, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Bigwilliestyles

    "Obamacare the equal of Hitler and Stalin" wow. Don't need to add anything to that one!!

    July 25, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. John

    In addition to impeachment, Obama should be tried for treason as what he is been doing is asslick Putin!

    July 25, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  22. bill

    Joe McCarthy is alive and well.

    July 25, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |

    They would love for the GOP to try to impeach him as a distraction from all his failures. Most would rather focus on the job at hand and watch his ship sink.

    July 25, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. Marie MD

    Little ms flake from Minnesota on one of her rants on the Capitol steps when she thought she could be president with the teaklan crazies asked for a revolution against OUR government.
    She is too dumb to realize that she IS part of the government she was advocating these crazies to fight and destroy.
    The right still doesn't understand that they ARE the problem NOT the solution to anything.

    July 25, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The GOP has transitioned from "kooky" to "dangerously insane".
    Oh they crossed that line a long, looong time ago my friend.
    I am quite entertained by some of the willfully disingenuous posts from some of the Usual Suspects, like "tell me who advocated violence" and "Black people voted for him only because he was Black", and those that keep trying to shut others up about the rampant racism and bigotry that cloud-covers our fine nation.
    Disingenuous is my new word for stupid.
    Proceed GOPeeing Teatards, proceed.

    July 25, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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